Re: End of airliner evolution?

From:         ehahn@mallard.mitre.org (Ed Hahn)
Organization: The MITRE Corporation, McLean, Va.
Date:         05 Nov 96 04:14:00 
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In article <airliners.1996.2124@ohare.Chicago.COM> wb8foz@netcom.com (David Lesher) writes:

dl> A decade ago, I worked on a project with the {ground} fuel systems
dl> guru for UAL. (I'll not name him, but he was noted for bow
dl> ties...)

dl> He insisted that we'd have one more complete generation of
dl> oil-burners, then we'd start to see hydrogen powered
dl> aircraft. That would solve the NOx problem, at least.....

Actually, it would solve the unburnt Hydrocarbons (HC) problem - since
the primary chemical reaction would be 2 H2 + O2 = 2 H2O.  (It would
also eliminate the greenhouse CO2 gas and CO production, as well).

However, while there would be a reduction in NOx production (because
you could now run "rich" without making HC emissions), there would
always be some NOx because of the high temperature in the engine
combined with the high nitrogen content of the atmosphere.

As a thread mentioned a while back (a year ago?), hydrogen has some
technical problems to overcome yet before becoming a viable fuel for
gas turbine engines - flammability, onboard storage, ground
distribution infrastructure, etc.

ed

--------   Ed Hahn | ehahn@mitre.org | (703) 883-5988   --------
The above comment reflects the opinions of the author, and does not
constitute endorsement or implied warranty by the MITRE Corporation.
Really, I wouldn't kid you about a thing like this.